Bank staff plans strike against privatisation

Mumbai, June 28: Over 500 bank employees Tuesday demonstrated outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to protest against what they said was the government move to privatise public sector banks.

Vishwas Utagi, who coordinated the demonstration under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), said the demonstration was also against amendments to banking laws now awaiting parliamentary approval.

Nearly one million bank employees and officers working in public, private and foreign banks are to join an all India bank strike July 7 called by an umbrella grouping of nine banking unions in support of their demands.

‘In the name of banking reforms, the ownership of public sector banks is being diluted, leading to gradual privatisation,’ Utagi said.

The UFBU is opposing the proposed amendment to Banking Regulation Act for removing the ceiling on voting rights for foreign investors, presently restricted to 10 percent.

‘This will enable the foreign capital to make inroads into Indian private sector banks,’ Utagi said.

The organisation also opposes the outsourcing of permanent bank jobs.